Unihertz is known for its commitment to providing small smartphones, and its latest model Jelly Star is making waves as the world’s smallest Android smartphone. This credit card-sized phone offers impressive specs and works like a modern smartphone, making it a compelling option for those looking for a compact device. At the same time, the 3-inch screen and tiny onscreen keyboard may become a challenge for users with poor vision or those used to larger phones.

Unihertz Jelly Star Mini Smartphone Review image
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In this Unihertz Jelly Star review, we’ll look closer at this phone and help you decide whether to buy the Jelly Star as your next smartphone.

Table of Contents

    Unihertz Jelly Star Mini Smartphone: First Impressions & Specs

    As soon as I unboxed the Unihertz Jelly Star, I was surprised by its compact size. This mini smartphone fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and slips easily into any pocket or purse. Yet despite its small size, it has a solid build and doesn’t feel flimsy.

    The Unihertz Jelly Star is powered by an octa-core processor and provides smooth performance for everyday tasks. Another pleasant surprise is that it runs on the latest Android operating system, Android 13 OS, and is compatible with a range of apps and services. It also came with an April 2023 security update.

    The device has an impressive 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, providing lots of space for your apps, photos, and files. It also supports expandable storage via a microSD card slot.

    Unihertz Jelly Star Mini Smartphone: First Impressions & Specs image

    Before we continue the review, let’s take a closer look at the smartphone’s tech specifications:

    • Dimensions: 3.75 x 1.94 x 0.69in (95.1 x 49.6 x 18.7mm)
    • Weight: 4.3 oz (116g)
    • CPU: Helio G99 Octa-Core 2.0-2.2GHz
    • OS: Android 13
    • Memory: 8GB RAM
    • Storage: 256 GB ROM UFS 2.2
    • SIM card type: dual nano, micro SD capable
    • Screen: panda glass, LCD, 2.63” x 1.5” display area
    • Resolution: 480 x 854
    • Connectivity: 2G GSM, 3G, 4G, Wifi 2.4GHz/5GHz, Bluetooth 5.3, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
    • Rear camera: 48MP
    • Front camera: 8MP
    • LEDs: Bright single LED, plus dynamic action ‘U’ and ‘O’ shaped
    • Navigation: GPS + GLONASS + BeiDou + Galileo
    • Battery: 2000 mAh lithium ion, non-removable
    • Extra features: NFC, facial recognition, infrared port, programmable key, loudspeaker, FM radio
    • Colors: transparent red and transparent blue
    • Price: $229.99 on the official Unihertz website.

    Unihertz caters to people looking for unusual Android phones, and Jelly Star is unique. It’s one of the tiniest Android smartphones out there, making it stand out from the crowd of big glass slabs we’re used to seeing.

    Design and Unpacking

    The Unihertz Jelly Star is a unique mini smartphone. This tiny phone measures about the size of a credit card and is incredibly light, too, weighing a little over 4 ounces. The eye-catching design is a step up from the previous Unihertz Jelly 2 model. Jelly Star is available in either a transparent red or blue case (following the transparency trend set by Nothing products).

    What’s in the Box

    Design and Unpacking image

    Here’s everything you’ll find when unboxing your Unihertz Jelly Star:

    • Unihertz Jelly Star smartphone
    • USB-C to USB-A charging cable & charger
    • Extra screen protector
    • Lanyard
    • Sim pin
    • User guide

    I received the blue transparent version of the phone for testing purposes.

    On the front of the Jelly Star, you’ll see chunky edges surrounding the compact screen. Above the display is an earpiece, a front-facing camera, and a notification light, a nifty feature to have on a smartphone.

    The 3-inch display of this small phone is protected by durable Panda Glass, and while it’s not as good as Gorilla Glass commonly found in mainstream smartphones, it still offers decent protection.

    Design and Unpacking image 2

    Under the screen, you’ll find dedicated capacitive buttons for navigation. These are the same as on most Android phones, so the navigation feels familiar if you owned an Android smartphone before.

    You’ll find the volume buttons on the smartphone’s left side.

    Design and Unpacking image 3

    The right side features the power button, a programmable button for customization, the Nano dual SIM card slot, and the USB-C port for charging and data transfer.

    Design and Unpacking image 4

    At the top of the Jelly Star, you’ll see a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the bottom of the phone houses the device’s speaker.

    When you flip the phone over, you’ll see a translucent back with a prominent Unihertz logo. There’s a single camera lens, a flash, and a fingerprint sensor with a sleek metallic finish. The fingerprint sensor and Unihertz logo are flanked by two small but bright LED strips.

    Design and Unpacking image 5

    The LED light strips at the back look cool at first, but they may not be for everyone. By default, these white LED lights are pretty bright and can be distracting. For example, playing music or a YouTube video triggers the lights to pulsate with the sound, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. There are other options, too, like having the lights always on to remind you to charge the phone or turning them on or off for incoming calls and notifications.

    However, you can adjust the brightness of the LED lights or turn them off entirely if you don’t like them.

    Performance & Software

    The Unihertz Jelly Star may be small in size, but it impresses with its performance and software features. The MediaTek Helio G99 processor and 8GB of RAM ensure smooth operation, even with its tiny screen.

    Performance & Software image

    The overall performance is impressive, and the phone operates smoothly without any lags or delays. While the Helio G99 chipset could face challenges on larger high-resolution displays, it easily handles the Jelly Star’s low-resolution screen.

    You’ll be surprised to learn that this little phone comes with the latest Android 13 software and not Android 12, providing access to the latest features and improvements.

    The Jelly Star is compatible with both T-Mobile and Verizon 4G LTE networks in the U.S., so you’ll get reliable connectivity wherever you go. Thanks to the compact size, Jelly Star is a perfect travel companion, especially when you want to take a break from your big smartphone.

    The display on the Jelly Star may be small, but it’s crisp and bright, making navigation and browsing easy. The device also supports Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, allowing you to share your internet connection with other devices.

    Unihertz Jelly Star supports Bluetooth 5.3, which ensures seamless connections with wireless earbuds and other peripherals. Whether you want to enjoy your favorite music and podcast or take calls hands-free, the tiny phone has you covered.

    Photo and Video Quality

    The Jelly Star has a single rear camera with 48 megapixels and a front camera with 8 megapixels. In good lighting, it takes clear and detailed pictures with accurate colors. But in low-light settings, the quality may not be as good, and some photos may look too sharp.

    Photo and Video Quality image

    The rear camera can take pictures with a resolution of 6000 x 8000 pixels, which is adequate for sharing on social media or with friends. But it may not be the best choice if you want to print the pictures or need professional-quality photos.

    Photo and Video Quality image 2

    * Examples of photos taken with Jelly Star

    For videos, the Jelly Star can record in up to 1080p resolution, which is good for everyday use and sharing online.

    Overall, the Jelly Star’s camera is decent for a small phone like this, but more expensive phones are better. It’s fine for casual pictures and videos. If you’re looking to create professional quality content, your best options would be the latest Apple iPhone models or Samsung Galaxy S23 if you prefer an Android phone. Mind you, these smartphones are more than ten times more expensive than the Jelly Star by Unihertz.

    Battery Life

    The Jelly Star has a 2000mAh lithium-ion non-removable battery. It offers decent battery life and can easily last a full day. If you take it off the charger early in the morning, you’ll still have around 20% battery left by 10 PM.

    Battery Life image

    The screen time is also reasonable, so you can expect about 4 to 5 hours of continuous use. However, remember that this may vary depending on how much you use the device throughout the day.

    Charging the Jelly Star is relatively quick, thanks to its 10W charge rate. It can take around an hour and a half to fully charge the battery from zero. One downside is that the phone doesn’t support wireless charging, so you’ll need a cable to charge it.

    Should You Buy the Unihertz Jelly Star?

    The Unihertz Jelly Star Mini Smartphone is a unique and compact device that sets itself apart from the crowd of large and similar-looking smartphones.

    If you’re looking for a rugged smartphone with small screen size and don’t mind the potential limitations with future Android updates, the Unihertz Jelly Star could be just what you need. It’s perfect for people with great vision who want a lightweight phone that won’t weigh them down. The cool translucent red or blue plastic shells add a touch of personality to this little gem.